max deefur bobbins dingo badger skye, oh my!
What on earth have I said yes to? TA is on a train as I type, heading down to deepest, darkest Kent.
Last week, as TA walked me to work, we had a lighthearted conversation about how lovely it would be to have a little monkey-ferret-rat dog. We put on our best Father Larry Duff voices and said how it had always been “an all-time favourite fantasy” to have a puppy “running all over the place”. (Trivia fans - "Plague" is my all-time favourite episode)
I’ve been pining for a furry companion for ages and have been trying to persuade TA that a cat would be ace. Not that either of us would describe ourselves as cat lovers, but let’s face facts – the sett does not have a garden and only really has room for two humans, squeezing another body into that confined space would be tricky – a tiny cat was really the only option. Also, presumably, TA will not be at home full-time forever – at least a cat can be left for hours at a time. So it was that Saturday came as a bit of a shock.
I was reading the Guardian on the sofa and minding my own business when I noticed that TA was sending e-mail. I thought he was replying to news from his family, so I asked who he was writing to.
Me: Who’s Sharon?
TA: A Westie breeder. She’s got some puppies.
And so it was that I discovered that TA was planning to sell his snowboarding equipment, his rollerblades and camera to buy a West Highland White puppy and call him Max.
To say that I was hurt would be something of an understatement. I felt a whole host of conflicting emotions – disbelief, shock, betrayal, anger, excitement, stress, pressure… But I could see the light in his eyes already, the way he pricked his ears up, I could imagine the hours of joy and so it was that looking at TA – his eyes shining – I couldn’t take that away from him, even though I was filled with misgivings. TA, for his part, said that it was the only thing that he could think of that might make him feel a little better and I could see it – his whole face was glowing.
On Sunday I got up very early and began researching the needs of our very own little monkey-ferret-rat dog. Later we went to the evil empire and bought puppy preparation supplies.
Me: But what’s wrong with “Deefur”? I’ve always said my first dog would be called Deefur: Deefur dog.
TA: No. No comedy names.
Me: [later] I’ve got it! Genius! Bobbins! Bobbins the dog!
TA: No. We are not giving him a comedy name. They are noble, proud dogs with a varminty look.
Me: [later] What about Dingo?
TA: [weakening] That’s not bad…
Me: [stupidly] A dingo stole my baby!
TA: No. No comedy names.
TA: It’s not a bad name, but not for a Westie.
Me: What about Deefur? Or Bobbins?
TA: [sighs] No.
Me: But I don’t like “Max” and you’ve got all your own way – you’ve decided to get a dog and you’ve chosen the breed, the gender and even the name. It’s not fair.
TA: What about something Gaelic?
Me: Eigg! Eigg the dog!
TA: Hmmm…[gets the road atlas]
And so it came to pass that the decision was made; somehow we are going to fit a pupster in the sett, a pupster called Skye.
Skye-Pup the Dog of Tomorrow is being collected – all being well – at 11.30 this morning. TA, equipped with a tiny knapsack, a fluffy towel and the look of a proud, expectant father, is on his way. He’s promised to call as soon as he gets back to the sett.
The dingo has landed.
TA: [breathless with excitement] He's done a widdle on the newspaper, had some lunch and settled down.
Me: Is he happy?
TA: He's wagging his tail a lot. He's wagging his tail now!
Me: I'll try and get home early...